Second Year: A Glorified Time Management Course

On the internet people use the “drinking from a fire hose” analogy to describe medical school. I thought that I would create my own analogy specific to second year at Tygerberg and how I experienced it .

Second year is like being given 100 litres of water to drink every 7 weeks. How you go about consuming that water is up to you but the rule is that the 100 litres must be finished by the last day of the 7 weeks (day 49) . You can choose one of three options :

  • drink 2.04 litres per day for 49 days OR
  • you can chose to drink 14.29 litres every 7 days for 7 weeks OR
  • if you perform best under pressure you can choose to drink 33.33 litres in the last 3 days of the 7 weeks

One of those options is obviously not a good idea . Hint ,it’s the one that will definitely result in hyponatremia!

Second year was lot of work. There were moments when my brain would feel the urge to spontaneously combust because of all the work we did.

I initially found it very difficult to cope with second year. During the first semester I was frantic, haphazard and completely uncoordinated. I essentially”drowned” in all the work that we had. I couldn’t focus and I had no plan.

Luckily , come second semester , I had fixed all of those problems. I created a fail-proof study timetable for myself. That’s not to say that I omitted to study in the first semester . I just modified my habits. A table of comparison below :


Second Year Comparison Table



I made necessary changes that contributed to a healthier, more successful  and balanced second semester. I slept more, exercised regularly , studied differently and enjoyed living a little more.

The result : I passed all my exams WELL ! Every single one of them and that really made me happy because after the disaster that had been first semester , I needed some good news.

So yay ! Lily is going to third year ! tumblr_static_tumblr_static__640

I have compiled a few tips and hints for prospective second years to mull over and hopefully find useful going into this academically rigorous year. I am not an authority on anything so please do take these tips and hints with a pinch of salt. I’m sharing the things that worked for me and they might not be the same for others .

  1. Put first year behind you.  What happened in first year does not matter. This year is an opportunity to begin on a slate that is completely clean.
  2. Goals .  You’ll probably abandon/ modify half of them along the year but it’s good to have some direction even if its just for a while .
  3. Lean on your family .
  4. Invest in a supportive friendship group.
  5. Write down what you like to do for FUN and make a point of doing it every now and again.
  6. Find your academic niche and settle into it as soon as possible. Get your mentut (mentor/tutor) to help you out .Timetables are a superb way of keeping yourself accountable for your studying.
  7. Exercise . Your body and your mind will thank you profusely. You don’t have to be a star athlete but getting your body moving will definitely help pick up your spirit.

Lots Of Lily Love ❤ ❤ (LOLL)

10 thoughts on “Second Year: A Glorified Time Management Course

  1. Congratulations on getting through second year! I’m intrigued- do your academic years end in December then? Because ours end in June/July and start in September, and I’ve never seen it differ from that. I’m very inspired by your study time-table, and will definitely try and use something like it from next term 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 ❤ Yes , our academic year ends early in December .The med students come back in early January (the 4th next year 😦 )but everyone else stays on holiday until mid February. All the universities in SA do it like that because that's when we have our summer season and it's generally nicer to have vacation time coincide with good weather 🙂

      I hope the timetable proves useful 🙂 Working more during the week and taking some time for myself during the weekends definitely helped keep me from burning out. Let me know how it goes 🙂


  2. Oh gosh Lily you crack me up! (Sadly I have no emoticons to express this ) I have been wanting to read this post since the day it got released but due to lack of wifi I only got to it now. I loved it actually I like all your post. I have been putting off starting my own blog for a year now and your’s has truly been one of the few that has inspired me take to take a leap. Owh and 2nd year…I can’t wait (lol) I know where to go for advice. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a great read! I am in my first term (its a program that feeds into the medical school but we do all of term 1). Anyway, I am currently struggling with finding my learning/ study style. It is coming along but I can definitely see how I may need to make some more changes. I currently am following the model you have for your second semester but I have more tweaking to do. Haha! xoxoxo

    Love Love Love this blog!


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